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Beginning secondary science teacher induction: A two-year mixed methods study

Authors

  • Julie A. Luft,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Learning, Technology, and Psychology, Fulton Institute and Graduate School of Education, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona
    Current affiliation:
    1. School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona 85287.
    • Department of Learning, Technology, and Psychology, Fulton Institute and Graduate School of Education, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona.
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  • Jonah B. Firestone,

    1. Department of Learning, Technology, and Psychology, Fulton Institute and Graduate School of Education, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona
    Current affiliation:
    1. School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona 85287.
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  • Sissy S. Wong,

    1. Department of Learning, Technology, and Psychology, Fulton Institute and Graduate School of Education, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona
    Current affiliation:
    1. College of Education, University of Houston, Houston, Texas.
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  • Ira Ortega,

    1. Department of Learning, Technology, and Psychology, Fulton Institute and Graduate School of Education, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona
    Current affiliation:
    1. College of Education, University of Alaska, Anchorage, Alaska.
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  • Krista Adams,

    1. Department of Learning, Technology, and Psychology, Fulton Institute and Graduate School of Education, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona
    Current affiliation:
    1. College of Education and Human Services, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska.
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  • EunJin Bang

    1. Department of Learning, Technology, and Psychology, Fulton Institute and Graduate School of Education, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona
    Current affiliation:
    1. College of Human Sciences, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.
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Abstract

Those who study secondary science teachers are often concerned with preservice or in-service teacher development. Science teacher educators have acknowledged that this focus is limited, as the induction years of beginning teachers are an important component of teacher development. This mixed methods study focuses on the induction years of beginning content specialists, with the intention of adding to the literature in this underexamined area. The secondary science teachers in this study were followed during their first and second year of teaching in order to understand the changes in their beliefs, pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) and practices as a group, and as they participated in different induction programs. Analysis by induction program revealed that first year teachers who participated in science specific induction programs strengthened their beliefs, PCK, and practices. By the end of the second year, regardless of program, most of the teachers shared similar beliefs and PCK. However, the teachers in the science specific induction programs continued to enact more interactive learning environments that had more investigations and laboratories than did their peers in the other induction programs. For those who work with beginning science teachers, this study suggests that the induction of science specialists is an important area of work. It also explores the complex process of induction, and calls for more research into how beginning secondary science teachers learn and what types of induction experiences can best support beginning science teachers. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 48: 1199–1224, 2011

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